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which might grow in the furrows with wholesome ones, but so like them that it might not be distinguished. All falsehood is like truthso like it indeed as to draw its power to deceive from the resemblance. The people “who swore falsely in making a covenant,” persuaded the other covenanting parties that the oath was true. Now both anise (Pimpinella anisum) and dill (Anethum graveolens) have ever been much cultivated in Bible lands; and were the hemlock to find its way into the furrows, it might be gathered with either and not be observed. Moreover,
a poisonous element would thus be introduced, so the false oath drops moral poison in the soul of him who makes it, and in the lot of him to whom it is given. “Hemlock springeth up in the furrows of the field.” This plant belongs to the natural order Umbelliferæ, and is associated with several others of the same family whose seeds are not hurtful. It is now generally believed that the coneion drunk by Socrates was a poison obtained from the conium or hemlock. It grows abundantly near Athens; the other plants are not found in that part of Greece.
Ilenilock (Conium maculatum). “ Calves” (ver. 5), see under Numb. xix. 2. “As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the face of the water” (ver. 7). Many readers will have their attention called to one of the truest and most beautiful figures in modern poetry, when they peruse this verse :
“ But pleasures are like poppies spread,
A moment white—then melts for ever." Chapter xi. 11-see Ps. lv. 6. “Calves of our lips” (xiv. 2)—Levit. i. 5. “Grow as the lily” (ver. 5)—Song ii. 1.
" Revive as the corn. In spring a grub frequently eats the main shoot just above the root. Fields lately green become withered and yellow-looking. Showers fall; the root survives the injury done, and, technically, tillers, or sends up several other stalks, and the fields become green again. Or after a scorching sun has for a day shone on the corn till every blade bends its head, copious dew falls at night and it is again revived. Thus is it in God's ways with his people.
HE havoc begun by cankerworm and caterpillar is completed by a terrible drought. The strong expressions in chap. i. 8–13, give great prominence to this. What grief so bitter as that awakened in the hopeful young heart when
the stroke of death falls suddenly on the newly wedded youthful husband ? Such grief, says the prophet to the people,
shall be yours—“Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth” (ver. 8). So great was the scarcity to become, that the people were to be unable to yield obedience to ordinances sacred both by the command oí God and their own religious sentiments. “ The meat-offering and the drink-offering is cut off from the house of the Lord: the priests, the Lord's ministers, mourn (ver. 9). Thus all classes were to be brought to feel the pressing calamity. “Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests; howl, ye ministers of the altar; come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat-offering and the drink-offering is withholden from the house of your God” (ver. 13). The picture becomes very vivid in verses 10–12—“ The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen: howl, O ye vine-dressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig-tree languisheth: the pomegranate-tree, the palm-tree also, and the apple-tree, even all the trees of the field are withered away from the sons of men.” The vine (Vitis vinifera), see under Gen. ix. 20, 21. The fig (Ficus carica), Gen. iii. 7. The pomegranate (Punica granatum), 1 Sam. xiv. 2. The apple-tree (Pyrus malus), Song iïi. 3. Like the trees of Eden, these were all both pleasant to the eye and good for food. When the palm-tree is added to the number which were dried up and which were languished because of the drought, the wide-spread misery of the visitation becomes apparent. The palm-tree (Phoenix dactylifera), or date-palm, has been noticed under Exod. xv. 27; Deut. xxxiv. 3 ; Judg. i. 16; and Ps. xcii. 12– which see.
Linked up here with the vine, fig, pomegranate, and the apple, the
usefulness of the palm is specially suggested. The ancients boasted that three hundred and sixty uses could be made of the products of the palm-tree. See under Rev. vii. 9. The natural order (Palmæ) to which the date-tree belongs, is celebrated for the usefulness of the genera ranked under it. Their wide-spread
Their wide-spread distribution in tropical climes; their number, about one thousand species; their graceful forms; and the great size to which many of them grow—have thrown an interest around them denied to most other plants. Their geographical range supplies a fine illustration of the goodness of God. They furnish
the people of the regions in which they are indigenous with more varied means of enjoyment than any other member of the vegetable kingdom. To Israel in the desert, or when at rest in the plains of Palestine, the date-tree was of the highest interest. It became woven into their poetry, and associated with some of the most significant of their religious symbols. Its leaves were waved by the hands of rejoicing thousands, at a season when the religious heart of the nation was stirred to its depths by conscious joy. The highest expression for a